State and Privacy

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue VI, June 2018 | ISSN 2454-6186

State and Privacy

Armaan Natt

Student (IV Year), Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, Punjab, India

Abstract: – With increased surveillance over the digital sphere, it has naturally led to concerns regarding individual privacy and autonomy. The set up of the modern state is such that it requires the extensive use of these methods in order to achieve its desired goals. There is a balance that needs to be maintained between national security and privacy and thus both these concepts operate by their very nature, in a give and take relationship often being traded off against each other. The digital trail has also resulted in a complex challenge for privacy since every move can now be stored and tracked, greatly hinging the anonymity and privacy of Internet users. The need for secrecy around intelligence agencies, whose primary task is to collect information through use of surveillance, has also led to various privacy advocates raising a multitude of concerns. In particular there has been a raging debate over the creation of a Big Brother State through the use of these methods. The following chapter deals with the nature of the modern day state, the interplay between intelligence gathering and privacy with regard to the digital trail and also the need for surveillance to achieve the goal of national security, while dispelling fears with regard to the Big Brother concern.


The concept and understanding of a Nation State, it role and functions, has developed through the course of human history. The evolution of the State and its institutions has also had an impact on the relation between the State and its citizens. Thus it is important to first understand the nature of a state and its functions, and also between a state and its population.

It can be universally agreed upon that the state is a necessary institution. It is a form of an organized political association of individuals. Thus, it can be said that the state is the creation of the people; it is the result of our desire to have an organized community that functions on the rule of law. Thus the existence of a state is intrinsically linked to the relation between the state and its citizens and the functions it is expected to perform. Since the State is an association of humans, it can only perform its functions when its institutions are viewed as supreme and the individual as subordinate. Thus the state then may be defined as an institutional structure, which exercises its authority over a predefined jurisdiction.

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